Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Morning Rant

I was raised with the understanding that there are some things you just don't talk about in polite society. Of course, the big three were religion, sex and politics. (Which as adults we sometimes can't get away from.) But there are a myriad of lesser topics that, while not mentioned explicitly, were taboo when out in public - at least in my world. (Still are, as a matter of fact.)

Part of what I'm referring to as the lesser topics can probably be described as 'bathroom humor'. I was raised that you don't discuss bodily functions in front of other people, unless you're three and you don't know any better. No one needs to know about or hear your unfortunate noises. They don't want to see you technicolor yawn or have it described in detail.

Of course, mine was a much more pleasant world.

Flipping through the channels the other day, I stumbled on what I thought at first to be a smart commercial. It showed a baby doing stock trades online, and the whole time, he's talking about how easy it is to use this particular site. I was truly wowed by the whole thing. Except for the final few seconds, when someone got the bright idea to have the baby throw up on camera. (I don't know about the rest of you, but when I see someone vomit, I'm likely to want to do the same.) I thought the commercial was successful without that imagery. I got it that stock trading with that site was so easy a baby could do it. (Don't even get me started on the caveman commercials... please... enough is enough already.) The commercial didn't need the graphic grossness, but they threw it in anyway. Why?

Last night I caught part of the movie "Austin Powers: Goldmember". Without fail, someone's bodily functions were being used as a gag. I think these movies are funny without the bathroom humor, which IMO serves no purpose other than to gross-out the viewers. Mike Myers can do better than that. (The whole scene in the first movie where they're naked and items are strategically placed over their private parts is genius, IMO.) But all the gross stuff remains.

I get that some people think this stuff is funny. What I don't get is: WHY? Sure, it was hilarious when we were five and someone in passed gas at their desk while the teacher was writing on the board. But we were five, people.

Another thing I don't understand is why people think the pain of others is funny, but that's a rant for another day. (Doubt it? Watch America's Funniest Home Videos. If you make it through five minutes where no one gets a shot to the groin, falls on their face, or otherwise hurts themselves, you're probably watching one of their animal segments.)

So, what say you? Are you into the whole bathroom humor thing, or does it just seem like it's thrown in for effect? (You know, if we tried throwing something into our writing just for effect, we'd never get the books published. Or a smart editor would chuck it out anyway.)


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